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Astro Bob

Big Baby Planet Caught In The Act Of Forming

28 Aug 2018, 17:23 UTC
Big Baby Planet Caught In The Act Of Forming ESO/A. Müller et al.

Calling someone a big baby is an insult, but when it comes to new planets, go ahead — no hard feelings!

Astronomers have captured a spectacular photo of such a planet in the act of forming from a disk of dust and gas around the young dwarf star PDS 70. By using the SPHERE instrument on the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) — a powerful planet-hunting tool — they teased out this otherworldly gas giant named PDS 70b with a mass a few times that of Jupiter.

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